Nursery Raising of Vegetables Crops Nursery is a place where seedlings are grown before transplanting them in the main plots. Generally, seed are to grow vegetables and to raise seedlings. Therefore, quality of seed is very important based on which the vegetable seed are sown. There are some vegetables which cannot grow directly by sowing the seed in to the plot. For example, for vegetable such as tomato, eggplant, rayo, cabbage and cauliflower, seedling first need to be raised and then transplanted in the plot. Generally, the seeds are covered with a layer of soil after sowing. While there are some other vegetables whose seed need to be direct sowing in the main plot such as okra, mustard, legumes etc. In many cases, if the seed are sown too close to the surface the risk is greater that they will be dried out by the sun or eaten by birds or rodents. There are several different types of vegetable seeds based on their size and it is important to maintain to correct distances between plant to plant and row to row distances. In off-season vegetable growing the seed are sown once in the nursery and transplanted in ty to grow seedling in the main plot. During that time, there are very much vulnerable with temperature, light, water, insects, pests and diseases. The seedlings are very weak immediately after transplanting from the nursery bed. Therefore, it is necessary to grow seedling in the nursery rather than growing them in the main plots. Selection of site The following are considered while selecting nursery area 1. The area should be free from the water logging. 2. It should be always away from shade to get desire sunlight. 3. The nursery areas should be near the water supply. 4. The area should be fenced from the pet and wild animals. Advantages of transplanting of the seedling 1. It helps from purchasing of the costlier seeds. 2. Ensures proper utilization of the land. 3. Easiness for the better growth and development. 4. Possibility of extension of the transplanting of the seedling until the favorable time. 5. Preparation of seedling even in the adverse situation. 6. Easiness for the care and maintenances because of the handy area. Soil and soil preparation Soil should be loam to sandy loam, lose and friable, rich in organic content and well drained for raising vegetables seedling the soil pH should be 7.0. Soil preparation need a deep cultivation of nursery land either by soil turning, ploughing by spade and subsequent 2-3 hoeing with cultivator. Remove all the clods, stones, and weeds from the field and level the land. Mix 100 kg well rotten and fine FYM of 500 gm vermicompost per square meter mixed in the soil. Soil treatment Soil solarization for about 4-5 weeks on the ploughed soil covered with the plastic tunnel is better. Drenching of the soil 15-20 days earlier of sowing @4-5 liter of water with concentration of 1.5-2 % of formalin solution per square meter and covered with the plastic sheet. Application of the fungicide like Captain and Thiram which will also kill the pathogens 5-6 gm of any square meter nursery area. Furadon, Heptachlor are some insecticides which is mixed in the dry soil @4-5 gm/m2 and should be mixed up to the depth of 15-20 cm for nursery preparation. Supply of the hot steam at least 4 hours continuously under the covered polythene sheet and allow the soil for the seed bed preparation. Nursery bed preparation Nursery bed should be prepared according to the seasons and crop where raised beds are prepared in the rainy seasons and flat beds are prepared for the winter and summer seasons. Prepare soil mixture in the ratio of 1:1:1 of soil, sand and well rotten FYM or leaf mold and fill the mixture in these seedlings raising structure so that drainage of the excess water on the structure is easy. Raised nursery beds The width of 1 m with 15-20 cm high from the ground level of a raised bed is prepared. A space of 30-40 cm is left between two beds and ultimately it converts in to furrows. The nursery bed should be smooth and slightly raised in the center compared to the margin for easy drain of the bed. The bed should prepare in the east and west direction and line should be made north to south on the beds. Nursery beds raising in adverse weather condition There are some adverse condition for the nursery raising where open field condition is not possible. Thus, following ways should be adopted. 1. During continuous heavy rainfall In this condition seedling should be raised in the glass house, shade or poly house in small structure like earthen pot, potting pugs, polythene bags and curd tray by using soil, sand and compost mixture. During the raining hours these plots are to be kept at the protected place. 2. Low and high temperature condition During too low or too high temperature condition the artificial temperature regimes can be created in the glass house or poly house for seed germination and raising the seedling successfully to catch the early market by producing the early crop. Requirement of seed and seedling area The seeds and areas for raising the seedling may vary according to the soil, crop, seasons and methods of the nursery raising. The detail are given below. Vegetables Seed rate (gm) Area required (cm2) Tomato(hybrid) 200-250 75-100 Tomato (OP) 400-500 100-125 Brinjal 400-500 75-100 Chillies 500-600 75-100 Capsicum 400-600 100-150 Early flower 700-750 100-150 Mid late flower 400-500 100-150 Cabbage 450-500 75-100 Kohlrabi 700-750 100-150 Onion 8000-10000 500 Sowing of seeds in the nursery After the seed bed is prepared then the seed are sown in the nursery bed in the different way. Those methods are as follows. 1. Broad cast methods Seeds are broadcasted in the prepared nursery bed and later on the seeds are covered with well rotten fine sieved and treated FYM or compost. The major disadvantage of this method is there is uneven distribution of seeds in the nursery becomes dense but this method is the commonly used and practiced. 2. Line Sowing Line sowing is the best method of sowing in the nursery. Lines are made 0.5-1 cm deep parallel to the width at the distance of 5 cm from the line. The seeds are sown or placed singly at the distance of about 1cm apart. Cover the seeds with the fine mixture of soil, sand and FYM in the ratio of 1:1:1. After covering a light irrigation must be given with the fine rose can. The advantage of the line sowing are as below: Each and every seedling will be healthy, bold and uniform. Less seeds are required as compared to the broadcasting method. Every seedling will get uniform light and air. Weed management of seedbeds will be easy. Easy to look after the seedling if there is any disease or insect causing damage. In hot weather condition, organic mulched shading nets are used to protect the nursery from the direct sunlight. Vegetables Germination(days) Vegetables Germination (Days) Tomato 5-7 Sovay cabbage 4-5 Brinjal 5-6 Kale 3-4 Chillies 7-8 Brussels sprouts 3-4 Cabbage 3-4 Celery 10-15 Kohlrabi 3-4 Chinese cabbage 3-4 Onion 7-10 Broccoli 3-5 Endive 3-4 Sweet Marjoram 10-12 Chicory 3-4 Lettuce 4-5 Cauliflower 3-4 Sorrel 8-10 Seed covering material Seed cover After seed sowing a mixture of sand, soil and FYM in the ratio of 1:1:1 is prepared for the covering the nursery bed for the better emergence. Care should be taken that every seed is well covered by seed covering. Seed bed cover Use of mulch A thin layer of mulching of paddy straw or sugarcane trash or sarkanda or any organic mulch during hot weather and by plastic mulch in cool weather is done to maintain the soil moisture for proper seed germination. The advantages of mulching are: 1. It maintains the soil moisture and temperature for the better seed germination 2. It suppresses the weeds. 3. Protect from direct sunlight and raindrops. 4. Protects against bud damage. Removal of the mulch As and when the white thread like structure is seen above the ground level, remove the mulch carefully to avoid any damage to emerging plumules. Always remove mulch in the evening hours to avoid harmful effect of the bright sunlight on the new emerging seedlings. Vegetables and appropriate days taken the seed germination. Use of shedding nets After seed germination during the seedling growth, if there is very high temperature (>30°c) than beds should be covered by 50% or 60% shedding nets of green/green+black color, about 60-90 cm above ground by the use of suitable support. Watering The nursery bed requires light irrigation with the help of rose can till seed get germinated. Excess rainwater or irrigated water should be drained out and when it is required. If the temperature is high open irrigation is applied. Need no irrigation during the rainy days. Thinning It is important operation to remove weak, unhealthy disease, insects, pests damaged and dense plants from the nursery beds keeping distances of about 0.5-1 cm from plant to plant. The thinning facility balance light and air to each and every plant. Weed control Timely weeding in nursery is very important to get the healthy seedling therefore manually removing them or pre-emergence herbicides such as stomp @3ml per liter water should be sprayed on the nursery bed after the seed sowing and seed covering with the mixture. Plant protection Damping off of seedling, light blight disease and leaf minor and borer infect the seedling in the nursery. The care for controlling them in time is essential. Hardening of the plant in the nursery The term hardening includes any treatment that makes the tissue firm to endure better during unfavorable environment like low temperature high temperature and hot dry wind. Hardening is the physiological process of whereby plant accumulates more carbohydrates reserve and produces an additional cuticle on the leaves. In the process seedling are given some artificial shocks at least 7-10 days before uprooting and transplanting. Seedling are exposed to the full sunlight, all the seedling needs, polythene sheets should be removed and irrigation is stopped slowly and slowly. Technique of Hardening Hardening can be done by following ways. By holding watering to the watering to the plant by 4-5 days before transplanting Lowering the temperature also retards the growth aids to the hardening process. By application of 4000 ppm Nacl with the irrigation water or by spraying of 2000 ppm of cycoel. Effect of Hardening Following effect must be observed by the hardening Hardening improves the quality and modify the nature of colloids ion the plant cell enabling them to resist the loss of water. Hardening improves the presence of dry matter and regards in the plant but decrease the percentage of feasible water and transpiration per unit area of leaf. Decrease the rate of growth in the plant. Harden plants withstand better against unfavorable weather condition like hot day, wind and low temperature. Hardening of plants increases the waxy covering the leaves of cabbage. Thus, with the proper scheduling of the activities and procedure, we can be able for the management of nursery along with the raising of vegetables crops.